ATF agent Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) tries to determine the link between a woman's (Paula Patton) death and a bomb that blew up a ferry and killed more than 500 people. Like all dedicated officers, he eventually decides to risk his life and, uh, go back in time.
Big question: Can director Tony Scott ("Domino," "Enemy of the State") keep his jittery style in check and have "Deja Vu" make at least a little bit of sense?
Skip it: The film starts out as an entertaining thriller--kept moving by Washington's reliable charisma--but "Deja Vu" turns into a giant eraser halfway through. It dives head-first into its own set of technological rules, which isn't a problem because it's unbelievable but because the concept of time travel explodes the plot like a grenade and undermines everything that has come before.
Catch it: If you've always enjoyed Scott's surveillance fetish but wished he'd tone down his frantic style. "Deja Vu" is visually exciting without seeming like it was edited on a roller coaster.
Bottom line: As the movie ties itself in knots, it's mildly enjoyable to see how--well, if--its threads will untangle. But the bomber's motives are shaky at best and pointlessly topical at worst, and thinking about "Deja Vu" for three seconds makes the entire thing fall apart faster than Johnny Knoxville's Oscar chances.
Bonus: Finally "The Lake House" has competition for 2006's most chronologically ridiculous movie. Watch your back, Keanu!
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Directed by Tony Scott; written by Bill Marsilii, Terry Rossio; photographed by Paul Cameron; edited by Chris Lebenzon; production designed by Chris Seagers; music by Harry Gregson-Williams; produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. A Touchstone Pictures release; opens Wednesday. Running time: 2:08. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images and some sexuality).
Doug Carlin - Denzel Washington
Claire Kuchever - Paula Patton
Agent Pryzwarra - Val Kilmer
Carroll Oerstadt - Jim Caviezel
Denny - Adam Goldberg
Jack McCready - Bruce Greenwood
Shanti - Erika Alexander
Minuti - Matt CravenCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times